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J Pediatr Ophthalmol Strabismus. 2004 Jul-Aug;41(4):212-8.

Visual function in young adults following intrauterine growth retardation.

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  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.



Intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) resulting in infants born small for gestational age is a known risk factor for neurologic deficits and may predispose to poor cognitive development later in life. We recently found an association between IUGR and a reduced neuroretinal rim area at 18 years of age. We evaluated the possible association between IUGR and visual function.


We studied 26 subjects who had been born small for gestational age and 20 subjects whose birth weights were appropriate for gestational age (controls) using letter acuity thresholds, color vision testing, full-threshold frequency doubling technology perimetry, and rarebit perimetry at 18 years of age. gestational age had a rarebit hit rate below the normal range as compared with none of the controls (P = .006). These 8 subjects had a significantly smaller rim-disc ratio compared with the subjects who were small for gestational age who had a normal rarebit hit rate (P = .047). The frequency doubling technology indices did not differ significantly between the control group and the group that was small for gestational age, nor did the visual acuity, refraction, and color vision test results.


These data indicate that IUGR is associated with an increased rate of impaired visual function, which can be detected by using rarebit perimetry but not frequency doubling technology perimetry, visual acuity, or color vision tests.

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